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Weekly Link Dump for 2010-07-09

by Layne on July 9, 2010
  • Ruled SurfaceRuled Hyperboloid
    In geometry, a surface S is ruled if through every point of S there is a straight line that lies on S. The most familiar examples are the plane and the curved surface of a cylinder or cone. Other examples are a conical surface with elliptical directrix, the right conoid, the helicoid, and the tangent developable of a smooth curve in space. A ruled surface can always be described (at least locally) as the set of points swept by a moving straight line. For example, a cone is formed by keeping one point of a line fixed whilst moving another point along a circle.
  • Blue Riband
    The Blue Riband is an unofficial accolade given to the passenger liner crossing the Atlantic Ocean in regular service with the record highest speed. The term was borrowed from horse racing, and was not widely used until after 1910. Under the unwritten rules, the record is based on average speed rather than passage time because ships follow different routes. Traditionally, a ship is considered a “record breaker” if it wins the eastbound speed record, but is not credited with Blue Riband unless it wins the more difficult westbound record against the Gulf Stream.
  • P.O. Box 1142
    P.O. Box 1142 was a secret American military intelligence facility that operated during World War II. The American Military Intelligence Service had two special wings whose core duty was to interview the Prisoners of War (POWs), known as MIS -X and MIS -Y. They were known by their codename, the mailing address “P.O. Box 1142.” Notable prisoners housed at the facility included rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, spymaster Reinhard Gehlen, and Heinz Schlicke, inventor of infrared detection.
  • Shellac
    Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug, on trees in the forests of India and Thailand. It is processed and sold as dry flakes, which are dissolved in denatured alcohol to make liquid shellac, which is used as a brush-on colorant, food glaze and wood finish. Shellac functions as a tough all-natural primer, sanding sealant, tannin-blocker, odor-blocker, stain, and high-gloss varnish. Shellac was once used in electrical applications as it possesses good insulation qualities and it seals out moisture. Gramophone (or phonograph) discs were also made of it during the pre-1950s, 78-rpm recording era.
  • Duck, Duck, GooseDuck, Duck, Goose
    Duck, Duck, Goose (called Duck, Duck, Gray Duck in some parts of Minnesota and surrounding states) is a traditional children’s game often first learned in pre-school or kindergarten . The object of this game is to walk in a circle, tapping on each child’s head until you finally choose one to be the new picker. A group of players sit in a circle, facing inward, while another player, the ‘picker’ (a.k.a. the ‘fox’), walks around tapping or pointing to each player in turn, calling each a ‘duck’ until finally picking one to be a ‘goose’ The ‘goose’ then rises and chases and tries to tag the ‘picker’, while the ‘picker’ tries to return to and sit where the ‘goose’ had been sitting. If the picker succeeds, the ‘goose’ is now the new picker and the process begins again. If the ‘goose’ succeeds in tagging the picker, the ‘goose’ may return to sit in the previous spot and the ‘picker’ resumes the process. With teenagers such as in high school, the ‘goose’ may attempt to tackle the ‘picker’.

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